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[The DRM Guide to Disability Resources on the Internet]

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People who are blind or who have other disabilities that make it difficult to read conventional print have access to thousands of books and other materials in alternative formats -- such as braille, audiotape, and large print -- through specialized libraries throughout the world. Many of these libraries are also beginning to provide books in electronic text formats, such as CDs that can be read on a computer or other electronic device with a screen reader. In addition, readers with adapted computers can take advantage of the thousands of electronic texts that are available right here on the Internet!
 
This page links to selected noncommercial (free) resources in the following categories:
 
Library Catalogs
The following are online catalogs to offline collections of braille, audio, large print and electronic text materials.
 
[bullet] Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) - VISUCAT
Search CNIB's collection of materials in braille, print braille, audio, electronic text, and descriptive video.
 
[bullet] Louis Database of Accessible Materials for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Maintained by the American Printing House for the Blind, "Louis contains information about more than 145,000 titles of accessible materials, including braille, large print, sound recordings, and computer files from over 200 agencies throughout the United States."
 
[bullet] Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) - OnLine Catalog
Search RFB&D's collection of audio and e-text textbooks and educational materials.
 
Audio Information Services
Services that provide audio access to information for people with print disabilities.
 
[bullet] International Association of Audio Information Services (I.A.A.I.S.) [added 9/21/00]
Formerly the National Association of Radio Reading Services, "IAAIS is an organization of services that provide audio access to information for people who are print disabled...." The services may be affiliated with state or nonprofit agencies, public radio stations, commercial FM stations, colleges, universities, or libraries. Users hear news, features, sports, business, opinions, advertisements and other material from newspapers, books and magazines which are typically broadcast on a subcarrier channel of an FM radio station; listeners must have a special receiver to pick up the closed circuit broadcast. Some services broadcast on a television SAP channel, cable systems, open channel radio broadcasts, over the Internet, or through telephone dial-in services. The web site provides additional information about the organization and a hypertext list of Radio Reading Services on the web.
 
Electronic Text (E-text) Collections on the Internet
The following are noncommercial (free) collections of books in electronic format on the Internet. Users should note that the formats vary (e.g. ASCII, html, pdf, etc.); some may be more accessible with adaptive software and hardware than others.
 
[bullet] Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts
A "collection of digital documents collected in the subject areas of English literature, American literature, and Western philosophy."
 
[bullet] Internet Public Library Online Texts Collection
Search the collection's 13,000 titles or browse by author, by title, or by Dewey Decimal Classification.
 
[bullet] National Library of Canada - Electronic Collection
"The NLC electronic collection incorporates formally published Canadian online books and journals. These publications are being acquired, catalogued, and permanently stored at the NLC. Public access is provided on the Internet through the World Wide Web."
 
[bullet] Project Gutenberg
Classic books from the first quarter of the 20th century and before, selected and produced in "plain vanilla" (ASCII) text by volunteers. Search for specific works (or browse) by author or title, or download a complete list in zipped format. Project Gutenberg e-texts are also available via FTP.
 
[bullet] University of Waterloo Library - Electronic Text Center
"A collection of electronic resources of value to those pursuing scholarly research in the humanities," particularly primary texts in the disciplines of Classics, English, French, German, and Philosophy. Some of the materials are available offline or via other sites.
 
Other Guides to Electronic Text (E-text) Collections on the Internet
Can't find what you want in the collections above? These are online guides and indexes to electronic resources on the Internet will lead you to many other resources.
 
[bullet] Infomine
An extensive guide to scholarly and academic resources on the Internet from the University of California-Riverside. Topics covered the sciences, government information, social sciences, humanities, and instructional materials.
 
[bullet] The On-Line Books Page
Hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, John Mark Ockerbloom's directory includes an index to over 11,000 on-line books and pointers to significant directories and archives of on-line texts.
 
Related Subjects
[bullet] Assistive Technology for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
[bullet] Blindness and Visual Impairments
[bullet] Braille
[bullet] Resources in your state
 
 

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